National Briefs

Posted on 02 Oct 2006 at 6:04pm
By Staff and Wire Reports

Church members boycotting Wal-Mart over chain’s affiliation with gay chamber

COLUMBIA, Tenn. Wal-Mart’s affiliation with a gay and lesbian business coalition has prompted a local church and its 150 members to boycott the discount retailer.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said in August it had become a member of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, joining several major companies that work with the chamber.

The new affiliation prompted Trinity Family Church, a nondenominational church, to call on members to quit patronizing Wal-Mart operations because NGLCC supports gay marriage. A constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage is on the November ballot in Tennessee.

The church found out about the partnership through an e-mail from the American Family Association. The pastor also cited books on gay and lesbian issues sold by Wal-Mart as a reason for the boycott.

Bob McAdam, vice president of corporate affairs with Wal-Mart, said the popularity of his company’s nearly 4,000 stores will overcome any call for a boycott.

Sir Elton donates to effort against anti-gay-marriage amendment in Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. Rock music legend Elton John has donated $20,000 to a group trying to defeat a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage in Wisconsin, according to a campaign filing on Monday. Voters will decide the issue Nov. 7.

Fair Wisconsin spokesman Josh Freker said John’s was an in-kind contribution for allowing the group to use one of his songs, “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me,” in a campaign ad.

His company waived the rights to royalties, Freker said, and the $20,000 figure represented how much it would have cost based on how much the ad has aired.

The donation helped the group raise $2.5 million between July 1 and Oct. 23.

Hacker adds mock anti-gay “‘rule’ into online voter information Web site
WHEATON, Ill. DuPage County’s computer experts are investigating how hackers broke into the county’s Election Commission Web site and posted mock entries under a voter information link.

On Oct. 26, the County Election Commission was alerted to a post under a qualification list for potential voters that read, “You may not be a homosexual.” The entry was removed and officials are trying to decide if laws were broken.

County officials said neither voter registration files nor the commission’s vote-counting systems were tampered with.

Arkansas Republican runs ads saying Democrat opponent promotes “‘gay agenda’

LITTLE ROCK Democratic attorney general nominee Dustin McDaniel said Oct. 27 that Republican Gunner DeLay is misleading voters with an ad accusing McDaniel of promoting a “gay agenda” and civil unions.

DeLay, a former state senator from Fort Smith, began airing a television spot the night of Oct. 26 targeting McDaniel for comments he made last week in support of civil unions for unmarried couples. “Only one candidate is openly supporting the gay agenda in favor of same-sex civil unions, Dustin McDaniel,” the announcer in the 30-second ad says. “Civil unions like they have in Vermont would have the same legal status as a traditional marriage between a man and a woman.”

McDaniel said the spot lies about his record and repeated his support for a constitutional ban on gay marriage approved by voters in 2004.

Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts delays vote to stop performing marriages

BOSTON The Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts did not take a scheduled vote on a resolution to stop performing marriages, deciding instead to study and clarify the clergy’s role in a Christian marriage.

The resolution was expected to come up for a vote at the diocese’s annual convention this past weekend. A group of Episcopal priests proposed the measure, saying it would eliminate an inequity in the church, which permits priests to marry only heterosexual couples.

The resolution would have declared that all Episcopal marriages should be presided over by an agent of the state, such as a justice of the peace, starting in 2008. Episcopal priests would have limited their role to blessing the married couples, which is all they can do for gay married couples now. Instead, the diocese which covers the eastern part of Massachusetts tabled the original resolution and approved a substitute. That measure said that beginning next year, “the diocese will engage its laity and clergy in a process of study and dialogue about the nature of Christian marriage and civil marriage in order to clarify and articulate our understanding of the theology and ethics of Christian marriage.”

Altercation outside Iowa gay bar leads to hate crime charge

IOWA CITY An Iowa City man has been charged with a hate crime for allegedly striking a man outside a gay nightclub. Michael D. Murphy, 19, is accused of shouting several derogatory statements early in the morning of Oct. 27 at the 24-year-old victim and his friends outside Studio 13, police said. Murphy then allegedly punched him once in the side of the head with a closed fist, police said.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, November 3, 2006.

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